Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (342 KB bytes)

Title: Polyploidy and the evolutionary history of cotton.

Author: Wendel, Jonathan F.; Cronn, R.C.;

Date: 2002

Source: Advances in Agronomy. 87: 139-186

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The cotton genus (Gossypium) includes approximately 50 species distributed in arid to semi-arid regions of the tropic and subtropics. Included are four species that have independently been domesticated for their fiber, two each in Africa–Asia and the Americas. Gossypium species exhibit extraordinary morphological variation, ranging from herbaceous perennials to small trees with a diverse array of reproductive and vegetative characteristics. A parallel level of cytogenetic and genomic diversity has arisen during the global radiation of the genus, leading to the evolution of eight groups of diploid (n = 13) species (genome groups A–G, and K). The evolutionary history of the genus included multiple episodes of trans-oceanic dispersal, invasion of new ecological niches, and a surprisingly high frequency of natural interspecific hybridization among lineages that are presently both geographically isolated and intersterile. Recent investigations have clarified many aspects of this history, including relationships within and among the eight genome groups, the domestication history of each of the four cultivated species, and the origin of the allopolyploid cottons. Data implicate an origin for Gossypium 5–15 million years ago (mya) and a rapid early diversification of the major genome groups. Allopolyploid cottons appear to have arisen within the last million years, as a consequence of trans-oceanic dispersal of an A-genome taxon to the New World followed by hybridization with an indigenous D-genome diploid. Subsequent to formation, allopolyploids radiated into three modern lineages, including those containing the commercially important species G. hirsutum and G. barbadense. Genome doubling has led to an array of molecular genetic interactions, including inter-locus concerted evolution, differential rates of genomic evolution, inter-genomic genetic transfer, and probable alterations in gene expression. The myriad underlying mechanisms are also suggested to have contributed to both ecological success and agronomic potential.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Wendel, Jonathan F.; Cronn, R.C. 2002. Polyploidy and the evolutionary history of cotton. Advances in Agronomy. 87: 139-186


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.